Voters across Ontario cast ballots Monday to elect their next municipal governments. Here’s what happened with 10 notable races:
After months of upheaval caused by unprecedented provincial interference, Canada’s most populous city re-elected John Tory as mayor. The veteran politician secured a significant lead over his main challenger, former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat. Though there will be no change in the mayor’s office, several longtime councillors lost their seats after being forced to face off against their colleagues as a result of Premier Doug Ford’s decision to slash council to 25 seats from 47.
Patrick Brown, the former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives, made a political comeback after snatching the mayoralty from incumbent Linda Jeffrey in this city northwest of Toronto. Brown was forced to give up the party reins in January amid allegations of sexual misconduct he denies, months before the Tories went on to win a majority under Ford. Brown jumped into the mayoral race after his campaign to become the chair of Peel Region was cut short by Ford turning the post into an appointed role. He eked out a victory on Monday despite the fact that several high-profile politicians backed his rival, a former provincial Liberal cabinet minister.
Mayor Jim Diodati held onto his seat, soundly defeating his closest runner-up, former Liberal legislator Kim Craitor. Craitor resigned from Ontario’s legislature in 2013 citing mental exhaustion. In 2014, he ran successfully for a seat on Niagara Falls city council. Since that time, it was revealed that Craitor was asked to resign by then-premier Kathleen Wynne after an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment that he denies.
Mike Bradley won his bid for re-election, 30 years after he was first elected as Sarnia’s mayor. Two years ago, Bradley was formally sanctioned by his fellow councillors after allegations surfaced that he bullied city staff. He faced veteran city councillor Anne Marie Gillis in Monday’s vote. Gillis previously ran against Bradley unsuccessfully in 2000.
Jim Watson remains the mayor of the nation’s capital, his third consecutive victory. Watson won in a landslide Monday, garnering more than 70 per cent of the vote. He was previously a provincial legislator for the Ottawa region, elected in 2003 and again in 2007. Watson’s main contender was former city councillor Clive Doucet, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2010.
Ontario’s longest serving mayor, 81-year-old Gord Krantz, was re-elected in Milton. Krantz, who has been on Milton council since 1965, has served as mayor since 1980. Businessman Wasim Ahmed and IT professional Mian Amir Naeem were vying to unseat him.
Former Conservative MP Joe Preston, who represented the area federally for four terms, unseated incumbent mayor Heather Jackson, who sought a third term. Meanwhile, former Liberal speaker Steve Peters won a council seat.
Former Liberal transportation minister Kathryn McGarry, who lost her Cambridge riding to the Progressive Conservatives in the spring provincial election, will once again represent the city, this time as mayor. McGarry, a former nurse, promised to bring a collaborative approach to city hall and listed tackling a lack of affordable housing as a key priority. She defeated Doug Craig, a former teacher who has been the mayor of the city since 2000.
Former Liberal cabinet minister Bill Mauro, who was defeated in the spring provincial election after 15 years as a legislator, defeated former city councillor Frank Pullia in a tight mayoral race. Mayor Keith Hobbs chose not to run. His decision came a year after Hobbs was charged with extortion and obstructing justice in July 2017. He has denied the allegations and the case is still before the courts.
This southwestern Ontario city, the first in Canada to use ranked ballots in a municipal election, had not finished tabulating results as of late Monday. Unlike the widely used first-past-the-post system, ranked ballots will see voters pick their first, second and third choices. If no candidate receives an absolute majority on the first ballot, the last-place candidate is eliminated and their supporters’ second-choice votes are counted. That continues until one candidate receives more than 50 per cent. The city’s mayoral race itself was wide open as current Mayor Matt Brown isn’t seeking re-election.